The Chrome Horn - Champ Trail with Phil Smith

Champ Trail - April 5, 2016

  The hills of northeastern Connecticut come alive this weekend with the sounds of racing engines as their off on the run back under the sun as the Men that live by the Grace of God and 600 horsepower, the Nascar Whelen Modifieds, get it on for the annual IceBreaker at the Thompson Motorsports Park Speedway.

  For those of you who live in southern New England four speedways, three in Connecticut and one in Massachusetts provide some of the best in competition and are top-notch facilities. Thompson Motorsports Park in northeast Ct is a 5/8mile high banked asphalt speedway. Thompson opens up this weekend with the IceBreaker which features the Whelen Modified Tour Series. The Stafford Motor Speedway, located in central Ct northeast of Hartford is a half-mile semi banked asphalt speedway. Stafford opens on April 24 with the Spring Sizzler featuring the Whelen Modified Tour Series. The New London-Waterford Speedbowl is a 1/3 mile semi banked speedway located in south eastern Ct near the Ct shoreline. The Speedbowl which has received considerable upgrading will open on May 2 with Bud Blastoff featuring the SK Modifieds. The Seekonk Speedway, owned and operated since 1946 by the Venditti family, is a 1/3 mile semi-banked speedway. The speedway, located on the gateway to Cape Cod will open on Sunday, May 1 featuring Pro Stocks.

  Legendary NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour car owner Bob Garbarino will be back during the 2016 season with a new driver and national sponsor as he begins his 56th season and will be teamed with another legendary family name in modified racing in Jimmy Blewett.
  A new sponsor, the L. S. Starrett Company of Athol, Massachusetts, will be the primary sponsor of the team. Starrett was founded in 1880 and manufactures more than 5000 precision tools, gages, measuring instruments and saw blades for industrial, professional and consumer markets worldwide.

  It has been announced that Ron Silk has hooked up with Danny Watts for a full season of Whelen Modified Tour action. Silk hooked up with Watts at New Smyrna. The Watts team, based on Long Island, to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Silkís home state of Connecticut recently to shake down the car and prepare for the Icebreaker 150 at Thompson this coming weekend. Silk was calmly confidant that the team will be able to come out fighting from the get-go when the green flag drops.

  The NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Series converged on the Concord Motor Sports Park on Saturday with 17 cars including Ted Christopher and Ryan Preece from the northern tour. NASCAR Hall of Famer Modified driver Jerry Cook was the Grand Marshal.
  Transplanted Long Islander George Brunnhoelzl III saved the best for last as he walked off with the top spot in the 150 lap contest. In contention from the start, Brunnhoelzl took the lead from Ted Christopher with three laps to go and never looked back. Christopher, in the Brady Bunch entry finished second with Burt Myers, third. Andy Seuss and Jason Myers rounded out the top five. Early leader Ryan Preece led the first 63 laps before experiencing problems which ultimately placed him 12th, one lap down at the finish.

  On the speedway stock market scene last week two of the three speedway stocks were up for the week. Speedway Motorsports went up 1.17 to 19.77 and the International Speedway Corporation went up 0.52 to 36.87. NASCAR fuel supplier Sunoco (Energy Transfer) went up 2.70 to 31.60 and NASCAR tire supplier Goodyear went up 0.31 to 31.49. Two of the three car manufacturers were down for the week. Ford went up 0.04 to 13.10 while General Motors dropped 0.49 to 30.47 and Toyota dropped 2.78 to 103.54. In the hoe improvement sector Home Depot went up 4.39 to 134.85 and Lowes went up 1.73 to 76.50. In big teamís sponsors stocks McDonalds went up 3.73 to 127.02, Coca-Cola went up 3.44 to 162.69, Target went up 0.72 to 82.76 and Aarons Rentals went up 1.48 to 25.35.

  On the tube this week:

  Thursday, April 7

7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBC Sports Net
5:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1
5:00 PM, NASCAR Xfinity Series Texas Practice, FS1
5:30 PM, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Texas Practice, FS1
7:00 PM, NXS Final Texas Practice, FS1
8:00 PM, Beyond the Wheel, FS1
  Friday, April 8
3:30 AM, NSCS Texas Practice re-air, FS1
5:00 AM, NXS Final Texas Practice re-air, FS1
7:00 AM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
2:30 PM, NSCS Texas Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
4:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
4:30 PM, NXS Texas Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FS1
5:00 PM, NASCAR America, NBCSN
6:00 PM, NASCAR Race Hub - Weekend Edition, FS1
6:30 PM, NSCS Final Texas Practice, FS1
8:30 PM, NXS: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, FS1
  Saturday, April 9
3:30 AM, NXS: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 re-air, FS1
6:00 AM, NSCS Texas Coors Light Pole Qualifying re-air, FS1
7:30 AM, NSCS Final Texas Practice re-air, FS1
5:00 PM, One Hot Night: the NASCAR 1992 All-Star Race, FS2
6:00 PM, NASCAR RaceDay, FS2
7:00 PM, NSCS FOX Pre-Race Show, FOX
7:30 PM, NSCS: Duck Commander 500, FOX

   Thatís about it for this week from 11 Gardner Drive, Westerly, and R.I.02891. Ring my chimes at 401-596-5467.

Phil Smith has been a columnist for Speedway Scene and various
other publications for over 3 decades.

Source: Phil Smith / Champ Trail
Posted: April 5, 2016

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